Journal Article

Fitness Parameters and DNA Effects Are Sensitive Indicators of Copper-Induced Toxicity in <i>Daphnia magna</i>

Franck A. Atienzar, Victoria V. Cheung, Awadhesh N. Jha and Michael H. Depledge

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 59, issue 2, pages 241-250
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Fitness Parameters and DNA Effects Are Sensitive Indicators of Copper-Induced Toxicity in Daphnia magna

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This study compared the effects occurring at molecular and population levels in Daphnia magna exposed to copper concentrations in the range of 15–120 μg/l. The qualitative and quantitative modifications arising in random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles as a measure of DNA effects were compared with a number of key ecological fitness parameters, namely, the age-specific survival, age-specific fecundity, net reproductive rate, and intrinsic rate of population increase. Results suggested that growth, reproduction, and most of the fitness parameters as well as genomic template stability (a qualitative measure reflecting changes in RAPD profiles) were significantly affected at copper concentrations of 90 and 120 μg/l. Among the fitness parameters, the age-specific fecundity and net reproductive rate were the most sensitive parameters of toxicity. Changes in RAPD patterns generally occurred at copper concentrations of 90 and 120 μg/l, but with one primer, changes significantly arose at all copper concentrations. Overall, molecular and population parameters compared well and represented a sensitive means to measure toxicity induced by copper in Daphnia magna. In conclusion, the measurement of parameters at both molecular and population levels is valuable for investigating the specific effects of agents interacting with DNA. Ultimately, this methodology may allow the ecotoxicological examination of the link between molecular alterations and measurable adverse effects at higher levels of biological organization.

Keywords: copper; RAPD; DNA effects; genomic template stability; fitness parameters; Daphnia magna

Journal Article.  7098 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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